USS Lawrence C. Taylor
|Name:||Lawrence C. Taylor|
|Laid down:||20 December 1943|
|Launched:||29 January 1944|
|Commissioned:||13 May 1944|
|Decommissioned:||23 April 1946|
|Struck:||1 December 1972|
|Fate:||sold for scrapping 12 September 1973|
|Class and type:||John C. Butler-class destroyer escort|
|Length:||306 ft (93 m) (oa)|
|Beam:||36 ft 10 in (11.23 m)|
|Draft:||13 ft 4 in (4.06 m) (max)|
|Propulsion:||2 boilers, 2 geared turbine engines, 12,000 shp (8,900 kW), 2 screws|
|Speed:||24 knots (44 km/h; 28 mph)|
|Range:||6,000 nmi (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)|
|Complement:||14 officers, 201 enlisted|
USS Lawrence C. Taylor (DE-415) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort acquired by the U.S. Navy during World War II. The primary purpose of the destroyer escort was to escort and protect ships in convoy, in addition to other tasks as assigned, such as patrol or radar picket. Post-war, after serving an action-packed tour of duty in the Pacific Ocean, she returned home with seven battle stars to her credit.
She was named in honor of Lawrence Coburn Taylor who was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry while serving with a Marine Fighter Squadron 24 August 1942. The destroyer escort's keel was laid down on 20 December 1943 by Brown Shipbuilding Co. at their yard in Houston, Texas. Lawrence C. Taylor was launched on 29 January 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Lawrence H. Taylor, mother of Lt. Taylor and commissioned on 13 May 1944 with Lt. Comdr. R. Cullinan, Jr., in command.
World War II
After shakedown, Lawrence C. Taylor departed New York on 6 August 1944 for the central Pacific, arriving at Pearl Harbor on 29 August. Sailing on 16 October, the destroyer escort joined USS Anzio and her hunter-killer group in the Philippine Sea.
During operations near Leyte, her ASW patrols were rewarded 18 November after a 14-hour search for a Japanese submarine. Joining two planes from Anzio in a coordinated attack, Lawrence C. Taylor sank I-41.
During December the hunter-killer group searched the seas off Leyte and Luzon relentlessly, despite a violent typhoon which struck the islands. She was the only ship in her unit to remain on course and undamaged during the massive storm. On 3 January 1945 Lawrence C. Taylor sortied with ships of the U.S. 3rd Fleet to support the landings in Lingayen Gulf on 9 January. Remaining on patrol, she searched for enemy submarines off Luzon and prevented their closing the shipping lanes to the island.
When Iwo Jima, needed as a stopover base for B-29s, was selected as the next target on the road to Tokyo, the destroyer escort departed Saipan on 12 February to join the fight. She arrived off the tiny volcanic island on 16 February and for three days guarded a group of escort carriers as they softened up the island prior to the landings. After the Marines landed on 19 February, Lawrence C. Taylor stood by on patrol and support duty. Two days after the initial landings, she assisted the escort carrier USS Bismarck Sea after the ship was hit by a kamikaze. Her captain remained in the area even throughout the night, leaving the search lights on in danger of further attacks. Under the constant threat of air raids, Lawrence C. Taylor continued operations off Iwo Jima until early March.
The victory at Iwo Jima set the stage for the next campaign, Okinawa. Arriving off Okinawa on 26 March, she performed ASW sweeps prior to the Easter Sunday assault. Once again her task was to keep the shipping lanes free of enemy submarines, and she continued this duty through June.
Then Lawrence C. Taylor accompanied Admiral Marc Mitscher's Fast Carrier Task Force as it attacked the Japanese mainland. The submarine patrol brought results, because Anzio' planes sighted an enemy submarine on the night of 15 July. At 0240 the following morning the destroyer escort registered her second kill when her depth charge attack sank I-13.
Lawrence C. Taylor continued operations with the 3rd Fleet until the Japanese surrendered, then departed Okinawa on 5 September to join the U.S. 7th Fleet as it landed occupation troops in Korea and China. She remained with the occupation units until 26 December when she departed Okinawa for home.
Arriving San Francisco, California on 15 January 1946, Lawrence C. Taylor remained on the west coast and decommissioned at San Diego, California, 23 April. She joined the Pacific Reserve Fleet and was struck from the Navy List on 1 December 1972. She was sold for scrap on 12 September 1973 and broken up.
Lawrence C. Taylor received seven battle stars for World War II service.
Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 7 stars — World War II Victory Medal — Philippine Liberation Medal